'India can become cardiac surgery training hub'


Our Bureau Bangalore
Wockhardt Hospitals, which has carved a niche for itself in heart surgeries, is extending its expertise and is looking at making India a hub for cardiac surgery training.
Wockhardt is encouraging Chinese doctors to take advantage of this in India and to build an ecosystem to treat the massive population in the Asian subcontinent.
Speaking to the media in Bangalore on Monday, Vishal Bali, CEO, Wockhardt Hospitals said, "When it comes to heart, the profiles of the patients in China and India are almost the same. Smoking habit, genetically prone to heart disorder and cases of diabetics which are common between the people of the two countries are forcing more and more doctors from China to knock the doors in India to hone skills in the latest techniques in heart bypass surgery."
Wockhardt Hospitals, which started its training programme for overseas cardiovascular experts two years ago, on Monday announced the completion of the training programme for the third team from China, taking the number of teams that has undergone training in the hospital to 30.
``Our mission is to make India a hub for training in cardiac surgery,'' Bali added. He said, while the arrival of the fourth batch of doctors from China is in the offing, a team of cardiovascular specialists from Belgium are also expected to join the training programme soon, he noted.
Over 50,000 patients undergo heart surgery in India annually while the number in China is about 38,000. While 50 per cent of heart surgeries in India are in the area of coronary bypass surgery, the number in China is 15-20 per cent.
``Cardiac surgeons in China are recognising the advancements in bypass surgery for their patients and a faster progress in the science of cardiac surgery,'' said Dr Vivek Jawali, chief cardiac surgeon, Wockhardt Heart Institute, who trained the team of cardiac surgeons from China.
The Wockhardt Group which runs heart hospitals in Mumbai, Nagpur apart from Bangalore has also been recognised by the Rajiv Gandhi University to conduct training programme on cardiology and cardiac surgery.
Bali said that the hospital had noticed a surge in the number of overseas patients for heart treatment.
``Last year we received around 800 patients from abroad and this year we have targetting at least 1,600 foreign patients,'' he said adding, surprisingly, most of them were from developed countries like UK, Canada and western European countries. ``Our motto is to provide first world treatment at third world cost,'' he said.
Bali further added that the 400-bed hospital of Wockhardt in Bangalore will be unveiled by April this year.
With this the number of beds in Bangalore will be 520 which will be the highest in the country for Wockhardt.

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First Published: Feb 07 2006 | 12:00 AM IST

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